LeBron James expected to miss two weeks with knee, back strains

LeBron James has missed Cleveland's past two games, and he'll be missing a few more.

Well, this can’t be the kind of news the Cleveland Cavaliers were hoping for on the first day of 2015.

Superstar and MVP LeBron James is expected to be sidelined for two weeks with strains in his left knee and lower back, according to a news release Thursday from the team.

"LeBron James was evaluated [Wednesday] at Cleveland Clinic Sports Health by Richard D. Parker, MD, Cavaliers Head Team Physician," the release reads. "Tests included physical exam, radiographs and a MRI, the results of which revealed left knee and low back strains. These conditions will be treated via a multimodal approach consisting of anti-inflammatories, rehabilitation, training room treatments, and rest. LeBron is currently projected to be out for the next two weeks."

The Cavs (18-14) already have lost starting center Anderson Varejao (Achilles) for the season. And on Wednesday against the Milwaukee Bucks, the team also was without starting forward Kevin Love (back spasms) and forward Shawn Marion (sprained ankle).

Cleveland has struggled as of late, having dropped three games in a row and four of the past five.

Few observers likely predicted such a mediocre start from a team so loaded with star talent.

Of course, it’s way too early in the long NBA season for panic, but the Cavs also are dealing with plenty of off-the-court drama.

The week began with a report that there was concern within the organization that first-year coach David Blatt was not connecting with his players.

Both James and Kyrie Irving dismissed the ESPN report, which cited unnamed sources, but the team’s struggles haven’t helped Blatt’s transition to the NBA.

2014 in review

Then on Wednesday, a video began making the rounds featuring James and former teammate Dwyane Wade after Cleveland’s game on Christmas Day. In it, James appears to tell his former Miami teammate that "if things aren’t better this year, we’re gonna reunite again and do some bigger and better things, all right?"

Before sitting out against the Bucks, James called the hubbub over the video "outlandish" and made it clear he’s not planning any moves.

"I’ve seen that video too," he said. "I don’t know exactly what I said, but I know it had nothing to do about basketball. I wouldn’t say that on Christmas, in front of cameras. That (conversation) had nothing to do with me leaving here. I didn’t go to college, but I’m not stupid," he said. "If I would have said something, I would have said it the (previous) night to D-Wade.

"I’m here now and I’m here to build something in the future."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.